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(Columbus, OH) – Protection of fishing, hunting, and shooting on national forest and public lands has taken a step forward with the Senate introduction of the Recreational Fishing and Hunting Heritage and Opportunities Act. Introduced by Senators Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) and Joe Manchin (D-West Virginia), the measure is backed by the U.S. Sportsmen's Alliance, American Sportfishing Association, National Rifle Association, Safari Club International, Congressional Sportsmen's Foundation, and others in the angling, hunting and wildlife conservation community.
The bill will protect fishing, hunting, trapping, recreational shooting and wildlife management practices on more than 400 million acres of public land across America managed by the U.S. Forest Service and Bureau of Land Management. The measure mandates that these public lands are open until closed for angling, hunting and shooting while enabling the agencies to make specific closures or restrictions determined to be necessary and supported by sound facts and evidence. The bill is patterned after the 1997 National Wildlife Refuge Improvement Act which made fishing and hunting "priority public uses" on federal wildlife refuge system lands and has helped protect fishing and hunting there from anti-fishing/anti-hunting zealots.
by Chad D. Baus
Recently, Grey House Publishing, based in Amenia, NY, sent me a copy of the Second Edition of Encyclopedia of Gun Control & Gun Rights. According to an accompanying press release, the first edition was published by Greenwood Press in 1999.
Reviewing an encyclopedia may seem a bit of a tall order, especially since, I will freely admit, I have not read the 550 page volume cover to cover. But encyclopedias aren't meant to be read page for page, but rather are to be used as a reference guide. I will also admit that, in this age of the Internet, I honestly hadn't realized encyclopedias were still being published. (Indeed, in the preface the authors credit the Internet as an "extremely valuable source of information [used] in preparing this book.") Judging by the press release, Grey House Publishing's primary target market for the volume is libraries.
The authors of the Second Edition of Encyclopedia of Gun Control & Gun Rights are Glenn H. Utter and Robert J. Spitzer. Despite the extensiveness of the volume, I had to go to the Internet to determine just who these men are.
Glenn H. Utter, Ph.D. is Professor and Chair of the Department of Political Science at Lamar University, Texas. Utter was the sole author of the first edition of the encyclopedia in 1999. He has also written other articles and books, including The Evolving Gun Culture In America and Religion and Politics, which features a cover photo of the late Osama bin Laden.
Robert J. Spitzer is a political science professor at the State University of New York at Cortland. His other books include Gun Control: A Documentary and Reference Guide and The Politics of Gun Control. In the Chicago-Kent Law Review's Symposium on the Second Amendment in 2000, Spitzer argued against the notion that the Constitution recognizes an individual right to bear arms. Spitzer has also published an article at The Huffington Post in 2011 criticizing Students For Concealed Carry On Campus. (Note: SCCC isn't deemed worthy of an entry in the encyclopedia, but does get one mention in a lengthy entry about the Virginia Tech shooting. That entry concludes that a better way to have contained the violence at VT than concealed carry on campus would have been a better adherence to federal "requirements that educational institutions...publish a yearly report of campus security policies and crime data, and provide prompt warnings to the campus community about crime threads.")
Spitzer appears the encyclopedia he co-wrote, in an entry on Gary Kleck - the University of Florida professor of criminology and criminal justice whose research in the 1990's famously concluded that firearms are used defensively as many as 2.5 million times each year. Spitzer is listed in the encyclopedia entry as a critic of Kleck's, and citations to his book The Politics of Gun Control are listed in the Kleck entry as well as in a later entry on Suicide.
So now that we have established a better idea of who the authors are, let us consider what type of information they deem worthy of being included in the encyclopedia.